Monday, November 16, 2015

Obesity by Age, 2011-14

When it comes to measuring obesity, the federal government doesn't fool around with self-reported heights and weights. That's because, given the chance, many people overestimate their height and underestimate their weight. Rather than ask people for their measurements, the federal government takes them—measuring the height and weight of a representative sample of Americans across the country. After collecting the numbers, Body Mass Index is calculated (weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared). In adults, obesity is defined as a BMI equal to or greater than 30. In children, obesity is defined as a BMI equal to or greater than the age- and sex-specific 95th percentile of the CDC's growth charts.

According to measurements taken in 2011-14, a substantial 36.3 percent of adults (aged 20 or older) were obese, up from 30.5 percent in 1999-2000. Among youth (under age 20), 17.0 percent were obese, up from 13.9% in 1999-2000. Here are the results by age...

Percent obese, 2011-14
Aged 2 to 5:       8.9%
Aged 6 to 11:    17.5%
Aged 12 to 19:  20.5%
Aged 20 to 39:  32.3%
Aged 40 to 59:  40.2%
Aged 60-plus:   37.0%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Prevalence of Obesity among Adults and Youth: United States, 2011-2014

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